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WWYDW: Chris Tanev

Your regularly scheduled WWYDWer Jackson MacDonald has gone goofy (and Minnie and Donald and…) and so it’s time for the substitute teacher to step in. Take out your pencils and a fresh sheet of loose leaf—today, we’re talking Tanev.

There’s been little talk of Chris Tanev’s contract status in the Canucks media sphere as of yet—but it’s coming sooner rather than later. Vancouver has a handful of pending unrestricted free agents entering the 2019/20 season—including Josh Leivo, Alex Biega, and Tim Schaller—but Tanev is the biggest UFA fish by far. Unfortunately, he’s also the most difficult to decide on.

Jim Benning and Co. are already free to negotiate an extension with the 29-year-old defenseman—but there’s yet to be any indication that negotiations have begun. An extension is only one option, however—and it may be more likely that the Canucks either explore a trade either now or close to the deadline. They also might choose to simply wait it out and see where the season takes them.

What would you do with Chris Tanev’s expiring contract in 2019/20? Offer an extension, seek a trade, or wait things out?

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Last week, Jackson asked: Where would you like to see Gaudette start the season and how would you make it happen? 


We want this team to keep rebuilding, and we are getting there. But asset management is essential at this juncture. Send him down unless his training camp is so good it would be a slap in the face not to keep him up. Having a good team in the AHL is a boon to the parent team—building on wins, confidence, and learning your roles. Having NHL players in Utica ready to come up is great, rather than a team stocked only with career minor league guys. He probably belongs on the team, but probably no more than Sutter or Beagle at the moment. So… asset management!

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Start him in the minors so Sutter can regain some value playing with offensive wingers and get traded. Then Gaudette can come up and play the 3C role.

Defenseman Factory:

Gaudette starts in Utica. Let him get first line minutes and give him the toughest match-ups. He needs to excel.

Let Sutter start as the third line centre and establish his value over 20 games. Trade him for whatever that value is. If on the off chance someone is interested in Beagle, consider trading him instead and give Sutter the 4th line. Then give Gaudette another shot as the third line centre.

The Canucks need a top quality third line centre who can drive possession and outscore opponents. Gaudette has to become that this season. He is 23 at the start of the season. According to CapFriendly, Gaudette is listed at 170lbs (lighter than Pettersson). How long do you wait? If Gaudette isn’t showing to be the 3rd line centre of the future by the end of January send him back down. Package the return for Sutter, an excess winger, and a mid-level prospect and make a trade for the centre you need.

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First of all, we have to see what he does in training camp.

Unless he blows the doors off in training camp he should start in Utica and, unlike the way they dealt with him last year, stay in Utica unless and until he is too good to play there. They’re a year late, but a year in the AHL after a rookie season in the NHL helped Virtanen (with the Canucks) and McCann (with the Panthers.)

Killer Marmot:

The Canucks have lacked player depth in previous seasons, and the results were not pretty. They had to scramble in mid-season to plug holes in the lineup.

This year they have good depth, so preserve it. It’ll be valuable in a few months. Start Gaudette in Utica, as he is waiver-exempt. He’ll get a phone call soon enough.

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Also, have fans send him Nanaimo bars on a regular basis. How someone can have trouble keeping on weight is beyond me.


I can’t think of anyplace for Gaudette to start other than in Utica.

He’s waiver-exempt, giving an easy replacement to a team that uses a minimum of six centres a year. Starting in Utica will also get him the big minutes and all situations play that he didn’t have playing on the big club last ear (about ten minutes a game). Cook him for another year, then trade Sutter at the TDL.


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If the Canucks were not so banged up last year at the centre position it is likely that Adam Gaudette would have spent the whole year in Utica. There is a dichotomy associated with this. He may not have been ready to actually play in the NHL last year, but got very valuable ice-time in the best league on the planet in spite of his inexperience—could not have hurt. Adam will start in Utica simply because he is no higher than sixth on the centremen depth chart for the organization. Hopefully this can be changed.

speering major:

I think Gaudette could benefit from some time in the AHL. He has very limited offensive accomplishment at the pro level. Yeah, he can skate and compete but in order to be effective he needs to create more scoring. Learning to do that and getting some confidence at the pro level will help him a lot.

It’s not going to happen but, in my opinion, the best thing Benning could do is move out Beagle and Tanev or another winger for a better center on a short-term deal—like JP Pageau from Ottawa. While Gaudette is getting minutes and confidence in the AHL, the Canucks are icing a better roster. The fact that Sutter is injury prone is a problem but it opens the door for Gaudette. The more likely option is to move Sutter if he can stay healthy and Gaudette is having a good season in the AHL. That raises another problem though—how do you become a seller while competing for a playoff spot? I think making these moves pre-season is ideal but more difficult.

El Kabong:

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I’m a very big fan of Gaudette’s and think he will progress as a very good third-line centre. Last year, he was sent to Utica to work on his game but was soon dropped into the Canucks’ third line as injuries hit our two (overpaid) veteran centres in Sutter and Beagle. Coach Green likes to keep unproven players on a very short leash and jumps on any deficiencies—especially on the defensive side. Under the circumstances, I think Gaudette did everything he was asked except for needing more work on his faceoff skills.

If Adam starts the season in Utica while we figure out how to move out a couple forward bodies, hopefully he gets his offensive game going and then comes up after Christmas. I’m fine with that. He’s got the heart, the skill, and slots in perfectly with our young core. If he is handled properly this year I’ll go out on a limb and predict a Selke trophy in his future.

Hockey Bunker:

Pretty simple. He has to beat out Miller, Sutter, and Beagle for a centre slot.

He’ll start in Utica, with Goldy as one of his wingers. Maybe Loui will be the other? Strong AHL line.

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